Schools Out For The Summer

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There’s something wonderful about the freedom that summer offers each one of us. We’re released from our day-to-day routines, bombarded with sweltering temperatures, and overcome by a desire to get out of town. Unlike when we travel in February (desperate to cure the winter blues and recover from the Holidays) or when we book a trip for Spring Break (eager to catch some sun and get outdoors), summer travel comes from a desire to experience something new. We want an unfamiliar taste, an inspiring escapade, a story to tell during the harsh winter that inevitably awaits us.

This week at Girl Gift Gather, we’re taking advantage of those flexible summer schedules and getting out of our comfort zones. For Christina, this means gathering her family and heading off to Los Angeles. She’ll spend the next two weeks discovering the City of Angels and expanding the GGG community by meeting some of the incredibly cool ladies who live out there. And for Chelsey, this means getting out of her much-beloved city for a long weekend camping in Cape Cod. As a novice outdoors(wo)man, she’s (nervously) packing up for a few days of hiking, biking and sleeping under the stars.
 
That’s the magic of summer. There’s so much possibility and opportunity. Between June and August, there’s a feeling that anything can happen. Adventures are ripe for the picking, new friendships lay just around the bend and memories sit, waiting to be made. “Yes!” is the response to every opportunity, no matter how unknown the territories. Why? Because somewhere in each of us is a child who can’t help but associate the shift in weather with summer vacation, ‘The Great Escape’, three whole months with nothing but sunshine, popsicles and freedom. For the next few weeks, let your inner kid guide you. Roast some marshmallows, book a trip, have a sleepover, buy an ice cream cone, go exploring. Be on summer vacation and love every minute of it.

xo

C+C

A beautiful weekend

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 Image via  We Believe In The Hype

Image via We Believe In The Hype

So looking forward to seeing this film. Meryl, Carey and Helena. You just know it’s gonna be good. 

Children of working mothers do really well in the world, says a new study.

There was a Gilmore Girls reunion. So now you have an excuse to binge watch the whole series all over agin. (You’re welcome).

A beautiful blog.

A beautiful book.

A beautiful woman.

Have a beautiful weekend! 

Big Changes

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“Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone” -Shannon L Alder

There are a lot of talks happening in nervous/excited voices in our family’s world right now.  Of maybe moves and future plans. I am open to new wonderful experiences. And we are all ready for a change. I’ll keep you posted…

xo

Christina

Summer In The City

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 Image via  The Odyssey Online

Image via The Odyssey Online

It’s been a rainy June. Like really rainy. And grey. And kind of cold. And all this lame weather has got me thinking about how magic Summer in New York City really is. When the sun finally decides to stop being so damn shy, you’ll find me participating in the below:

For days when it’s Just Too Hot: The New Whitney 

The current exhibit, America Is Hard To See, is engaging, inspiring and all encompasing. Plus, there’s an increidble view of the city (and the Hudson) and the toasts at Danny Meyer’s, Untitled, are the perfect post-museum snack. 

For people watching (and sun-soaking): Rockaway Beach

Hop on the Rockabus with a bag full of sunscreen and some Summer Water and consider your Saturday taken care of.

For Sundays: Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

For the very best sundaes of course (and vegan ones too!).

For summer celebrations: Leyenda 

Ivy Mix‘s new bar, Leyenda, is getting all sorts of love and I can’t wait to make this Tequila-lovin’ spot my new watering hole.

For the big screen: Free Summer Movies

Movies with a view. Pack a picnic and settle in for Clueless, Jaws, Grease, Roman Holiday, Jurassic Park and more!

For photo ops: Please Touch The Art

This Brooklyn Bridge based sculptural exhibit “generates spontaneous expressions and social connections, giving us new perspectives on ourselves and the world we share.” All with a back drop of Manhattan and the East River.

Here’s to a fun-filled city Summer!

Chelsey

xx

Past in Present

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This week, Christina shared her personal thoughts centered around her relationship to the past. (More about that here.) It’s a funny thing, the past. No matter how well we may think we’ve dealt with our issues, they often come up at surprising times and in unpredictable forms. Slowly but surely, the two of us are realizing that the past is not simply something you deal with and wash your hands of. Rather, it lives in you, informing your choices and shaping your perspective. For some, this truth seems terrible; “we’re all yoga-ing and meditating and deep breathing in an effort to stay present. We can’t have the past setting up shop on our insides!” But the fact of the matter is, what you’ve been through has unequivocally shaped who you are. The past and the present are undeniably linked and this can either be a scary, terrible truth or a wonderful, freeing one.

Dealing with our past is a part of growing. And there is a certain beauty in the knowledge that we’ll never get more than we can handle. This applies to experiences outside of ourselves but also inside ourselves. So often, when our lives have finally settled and we’re feeling steady, we come face to face with some former anxiety or trauma. “But why?”, we ask ourselves. “I’m so happy now. Everything in my life is just right.” It is only when we have the emotional strength to face our past that our minds will allow it to come forth. Somewhere deep down, we know that this is the best chance we have of truly healing and forgiving ourselves. Sometimes, this feels like the worlds biggest catch-22. We’re always growing and often it is hard and exhausting and can feel like too much. But in the end, it’s important to remember that all this work is moving us towards a much happier, fulfilled, compassionate present.

Here’s to a beautiful week! 

xo

C+C

A Beautiful Weekend

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 Image via  Elle

Image via Elle

It’s been a rainy start to June and it seems that the weather’s going to remain dreary this weekend. Here’s a few reads to kick off a lazy Saturday and Sunday in bed…

Are companies squashing ambitions in women? 

Lix Pruit, founder of Tartine in San Francisco, shares some honest thoughts about what it’s like to be a woman, a mother and a business owner in today’s culinary climate with Luck Peach. This piece was really inspiring to us and it goes way beyond women in food. If you read anything this weekend, let it be this. Our favorite quotes include: “The right question is: How do men and women figure out how to have it all together?”

Amy Schumer knocks it out of the park again. This time at the Glamour Women of the Year awards.

The return of the ‘girl movie’ — movies made by women, starring women, for women. 

A beautiful blog.

A beautiful book.

A beautiful woman

 

forgiving myself & my past

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 PHOTO:  WALTER CHAPPELL

PHOTO:  WALTER CHAPPELL

I carry a great deal of shame about my past; about who I was and the things I did before I knew any better. Over the years, I have done a lot of work on myself to get to the place I am in today.. But, occasionally, when confronted with my past, whether it’s a memory or a phone call from a long lost friend, I feel incredibly threatened. I find myself wishing I could erase entire years of my life from my mind. Recently, I was forced to confront the pain and emotional baggage that I carry with me. I was shocked by how much guilt and anxiety I was still holding onto and how little I had actually forgiven myself for. As I was crying to my husband, he reminded me that these things come up from within us when we are capable of dealing with them. I am able to recognize my pain and my shame because I am capable of more compassion for myself and for others. Many years ago, I made a promise to myself to choose love over fear. So, that’s what I am doing. Instead of beating myself up for still having these feelings, for still having this baggage and this complicated past, I’m choosing to love myself. To be gentle with myself. To forgive myself for who I was, to forgive everyone else for who they were and to make space for who we all are now. This is often difficult. But when I’m struggling, I like to practice the affirmation, “only love goes out from me, only love returns to me”. I am working on remembering that the only way to be free from pain is to love yourself and everyone else through it.

Sun Salutations

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 Image via  Tate Not Modern

Image via Tate Not Modern

Yesterday morning, I tried something new. I rolled out of bed, laid out my yoga mat and got into child’s pose. I didn’t brush my teeth or wash my face or change into my gym clothes. I just opened my eyes and started my yoga practice.

I, like many, have tried a fair amount of AM exercising: 6am yoga classes (I find they make me feel accomplished but super sleepy for the whole day), early morning gym sessions (I always end up rushing, either at the gym or on the way to work), sunrise running groups (never made it to this, just thought about it and hit snooze). So in the morning, when my body was feeling tight and my mind was worrying I may not have time to workout in the evening, I decided I could simply start my practice first thing — no classes, no gyms, no excuses. And you know what? It was awesome. Being sleepy meant that I didn’t have to spend half of my practice pushing thoughts of work/life/relationships out of my head (seriously, I was more present than ever). And being home meant that I had plenty of time to shower/make lunch/get dressed before work. Plus, it’s helping me get back to my morning meditations (which dropped off my schedule a while back). I doubt I’ll do it every morning and it’s certainly nowhere near as thorough or challenging as a proper class/gym session but, it’s a healthy, grounding start to the day and sometimes, on a Monday morning, that’s all you need. 

Here’s to just freakin’ doing it!

Chelsey 

xx

 

Go To The Source

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This week, on a humid Wednesday evening, we headed into the city for an evening of rose and conversation at Everlane’s pop up shop in SoHo. The event, invited women (and men) to join OkReal’s founder, Amy Woodside, to interview Caroline Venture, the woman behind Brvtvs and the newly opened West Village design store, Calliope.

After the event, we sat outside on a stoop on Wooster Street sipping wine and buzzing about our experience. Amy’s questions were wonderfully incisive and Caroline’s answers were honest and inspiring but what invigorated us most was the crowd of creative, cool women who stood shoulder to shoulder with us throughout the evening. The entire experience reaffirmed our belief that when women come together, magic ensues.

Something that’s brought up time and time again when psychologists and sociologists are speaking about the differences between men and women is that in work and in life, women will use ‘we’ where men will use ‘I’. And while we understand how important it is to encourage women to own their success, we’re also beginning to realize the greatness of women and the ‘we’.  Women are deeply invested in helping one and other. Our instinct to be collaborators instead of dictators mean that when we get together, instead of being competitors, we can offer ourselves to one and other as fountains of wisdom, support systems and social networks. This, we’ve decided, is freakin’ awesome.

We love the digital world and we know it’s way more convenient to soak up the wisdom of women online, but no matter how many beautiful blogs we visit or inspiring interviews we read, there nothing’s quite like going straight to the source. Not only is there the an opportunity to get to know like-minded, kick ass women who are  hungry to learn, create, share and grow. There’s a chance for each one of use to get out of our comfort zone and become a part of the team.

This June, there are some wonderful events taking place that are all about meeting, learning and supporting ladies. Our friends at Local Creative open the doors to their Local Loft next week, CherryBombe editorial director, Claudia Wu, is interviewing best-selling author, Emma Straub at Greenlight Bookstore and The WW Club is launching their Making It Work Tour in LA (this are just the events we discovered this week!). We highly encourage to find a happening that excites and inspires you this Summer and to take the leap and go. We can’t wait to hear about your experiences!

Here’s to a beautiful week!

C+C